IN MORE THAN ONE SENSE, A BOMB Well I was wandering the streets Monday night searching for something to entertain you fine folks with and I found it. Sort of. Except it wasn’t entertaining, and was a bit scary. Apparently, sometime in the 8 o’clock hour last night somebody took it upon themselves to call in a bomb threat to the Kinko’s and Blockbuster franchises on Union Avenue in Midtown. In light of our current socio-political atmosphere, and the recent explosion on Cooper, it was a touch on the chilling/surreal side to meander through. I’ve spoken a lot about the randomness of the moments that can be encountered on a sojourn through our city. Strange people. Aberrant behavior. But bomb threats? No. Not acceptable. I remember when I was a kid, in elementary school, it seems as if the throng of youngsters of which I was a part spent an undue amount of time at recess, thanks to someone who enjoyed making prank phone calls. Last night was the first time since then that I resurrected feelings from that period. Well, that’s not entirely true. I was on my way to the airport last fall during the hour when the first strikes against Afghanistan took place. Instead of benign radio Muzak, I listened to a newscast warning that the airports might go into lockdown. That too, was scary. Anyhow, as I headed East on Union last night, it was difficult not to notice the fifteen or so squad cars blocking off every entrance to Cat’s/Kinko’s. Ever the curious kitten, I decided to stop at Blockbuster to see if I could find out what was up. When I walked in, the workers filled me in. A bomb threat. But they reassured me that the dogs had already been through their store so I was free to search for the video that I wasn’t looking for in the first place. I jokingly quipped "OK, well, bye." A video store has never felt so ominous. I made a quick circle through the aisles just because. Maybe that makes me an ambulance chaserÉI’m sure my Mom would be mad. Unfortunately, the aforementioned police officers had the entirety of the complex across the street blocked off, so I was unable to go speak to the people from Kinko’s or Cat’s, who were all sitting out on the sidewalk. A gentleman who was in the process of asking me for money, however, indicated that this wasn’t a first. I haven’t the vaguest idea if that’s true or not. I’m not certain about the exact nature of the threat, but the authorities were pulling over and searching trucks and vans that passed by. I watched as a FedEx truck was motioned over to the parking lot, and his load was inspected. If nothing else, I am heartened to see the response on the part of those hired handle such things. Driving past Kinko’s I heard one of their employees intoning the same thought. Now of course, things like this happen everywhere. And 99% of such threats are really a half-assed attempt of some wayward individual to entertain themselves. But, really, it’s just not funny.


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